The mad scientists at MIT have resurrected Frankenstein writer Mary Shelley, who died over 150 years ago. Not really. Sorry, I lead you on. Really, they made an artificially intelligent Twitter account that’s collaborating with users to write horror vignettes. But the bot is named ‘Shelley.’
Its similarities to Mary Shelley are limited. For one, the bot doesn’t write its own stuff, it just riffs off user input. Specifically, Shelley borrows her horror sensibilities (i.e. data) from the subreddit r/nosleep. Once Shelley starts a story, you can tweet the next line, and it will continue from there. Because it’s a public collaboration, many of the stories are outrageous. And very scary.
Such as this spooky one from her website:
When I heard the phone ring again, I ran to the stairs. As I was running down the stairs, I started to hear crying. I shone my phone around the corner of the staircase and saw the crying baby getting closer. I crawled over to it and kicked it as hard as I could. The crying from the stairs turned into a soft metallic sound.
It does bring you back to reading Mary Shelley’s chilling prose, doesn’t it? I’m not sure she ever tackled crawling up to babies and kicking them, though.
Shelley sometimes writes weirdly voice-driven prose too, such as:
? A second fucking knife was stabbed through the back of my head, starting again. This time the head was ‘covered’ by gouges of hair, 1/2
— Shelley (@shelley_ai) October 25, 2017
Admittedly, this Shelley is not as frightening as Mary Shelley. Still, though, it’s scary to think of computers as semi-coherent writers. Maybe one day, dear book lover, the books you love…will be written by robots.
The robopocalypse is imminent. | via GIPHY
Feature Image Via Shelley